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  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    December 4, 2012
    10:00 - 1:00pm EST  

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who pledged to cut $3 of spending for every $1 in increases that reagan signed off on. fortunately, reagan did hold up his end of the deal and went along to support the tax increases. however, it -- on their side of the equation and did not implement the spending cuts, and so, this also happens again under the elder george bush's presidency, so i have very little confidence in democratic leadership's willingness to stand by a pledge to cut any spending at all. host: thanks to all the calls this morning. the house of representatives is about to come into session. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., december 4, 2012. i hereby appoint the honorable
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gregg harper to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 17, 2012, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate . the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio, for five minutes. mr. defazio: well, yesterday the republicans released a vague press release saying it constituted a counteroffer to the president's road map to avoid driving over the fiscal cliff. now, the republican plan
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purports to cut $1.3 trillion and raise $800 billion in new revenues. it did contain four specifics. four. cut medicare specific number one. $600 billion. cut medicaid, pays for nursing homes for seniors, of course. priority number two. three, cut the adequate cola for seniors on social security. even though 40% of seniors depend principally or totally upon social security and the cola already underestimated inflation particularly for medicare, essentials they need. cut that. not a driver of the deficit but, hey, cut that. one more specific. preserve the bush-era tax rates for income over $250,000. it's not a tax increase for everybody who earns over
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$250,000. it's only the income over $250,000 that would get additional taxes if the bush-era rates went away and the president's proposal was passed. but, no, they want to preserve -- totally preserve tax cuts for income over $250,000. they want to preserve the reduced capital gains rate and dividends rate which principally who ben pets, who else, millionaires and billionaires. now -- benefits, who else, millionaires and billionaires. they did have the jay wellington wimpy plan. you remember him? popeye. i will pay you for a hamburger today. unspecified tax loopholes. we will lower the tax rates for the people on the top. but they'll raise over $800
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billion. the ability to deduct the interest on their home mortgage, do they want to take that away? probably. got to come from something pretty big. they don't want to touch the billionaire, millionaire job creator class. now, you know, that's a pretty interesting position. and their position is the job creators who earn over $250,000 a year will go on strike. strike if their tax rates will go up. they won't produce jobs. tell me about the jobs they have produced in the last decade with those tax cuts? hmm. don't seem to work, does it? but in the clinton era when the rates went up, the 39.6 from 35 , they paid a little bit more and, guess what, the income boomed. we had 3.8% unploimed.
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we balanced the budget -- we had 3.8% unemployment. we balanced the budget. they opposed the tax increases in 4-. they said a disaster would result. not a single republican voted for the increases in taxes that president clinton put forward, which ultimately led to a balanced budget and paying down debt for the first time in 50 years. not one of them because they said it would bring economic disaster and instead is brought prosperity. so they brought out that old broken record, they glued it back together. maybe they put it on the -- put it in a digital format or something. but they're playing it again. it's as valid now as it was then. so it's the same old plan, stick it to the middle class, stick it to the seniors and benefit the ultrawealthy in this country. that's not a new plan. that's the same old broken
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record. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: thank you, mr. speaker. one of the most marvelous scientific breakthroughs in the criminal justice system has been d.n.a. evidence. i remember when i was a judge in the courthouse when d.n.a. started coming into be used at the courthouse. prior to that many law enforcement and prosecutors had to rely on blood samples and fingerprints, but once d.n.a. came in and we learned everybody has a unique genetic makeup and it can be connected and traced to perpetrators of crime when they commit a crime, especially in sexual assault cases. and convictions have gone up. the evidence is better. the proof beyond a reasonable doubt is much more available in d.n.a. cases. in 1985, there was a
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13-year-old girl named lavenia masters. she lived in dallas, texas. she told her folks good night. she went to her bedroom which should be, mr. speaker, the safest place on earth for children -- went to sleep and during the middle of the night she was woken up by an outlaw putting a knife to her throat and he sexually assaulted her. then he snuck away in the darkness of the night. that was in 1985. she went to the hospital. her parents took care of her medical needs. d.n.a. evidence was taken from her. it was given to the law enforcement authorities, but that d.n.a. evidence from that sexual assault that night in 1985 was not tested for 20 years. it sat on the shelf in a crime lab somewhere in dallas, texas, because the dallas police
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department had a new incentive to go and look at those old cases, this case was looked at. that evidence was tested and the dallas police department decided that kevin glenn turner committed this crime back in 1985. but that was 20 years ago. the statute of limitations had run and justice could not occur and lavenia's case, because the system waited too long to find the outlaw. kevin turner turned out to be a criminal in other cases and ended up in the penitentiary for those crimes, but justice was denied for lavenia. denied because of bureaucratic red tape. you see, mr. speaker, many rape kits sit on the shelves of evidence rooms across the country untested. some of them sit there so long that they're discarded by law enforcement. and the statute of limitations runs like it ran in lavenia's case. she is not alone, mr. speaker. there are 400,000 untested rape
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kits in this country. 400,000, that's a number, but every one of those represents a person. to try to put in some perspective, there were a little over 400,000 americans killed in world war ii. they were killed by the enemies of our country. 400,000 primarily young women have been assaulted by these rapists who tried to steal the soul of these victims. and it's important that we not stop prosecuting these cases because of funding. that's why i've introduced, along with congresswoman maloney from new york, the bipartisan safer act, companion bill with the bipartisan bill in the senate by senator cornyn and senator bennett. the safer act does a lot of good things but basically it allows funding to go and -- so that we make sure we test these
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cases. it audits these backlogs so we know where these cases are that are sitting on the shelves. it does the audit. it brings funding and brings these cases to justice so that we can make sure that these victims of crime have their day in court as well. d.n.a. is a wonderful thing, and it's important that we make sure that evidence is available for law enforcement, for prosecutors and judges in the courtroom. she was a child, lavenia was a child when she was sexually assaulted. that was a long time ago, but there are 400,000 cases waiting to be tested. this is something we can do in a bipartisan way today to test those cases, to bring justice to the victims of crime and make sure those outlaws get their day in court as well and be held accountable for the rape of children in our country. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california,
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ms. woolsey, for five minutes. ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, the past weekend -- this past weekend we observed world aids day, a time to remember those lost to this horrific disease and to recommit ourselves to prevention, treatment and ultimately a cure. for more than 30 years now, hiv-aids has exacted a huge toll, killing more than 25 million people. every 9 1/2 minutes in our country, someone is infected. but this is predominantly a disease of the developing world. a shocking 33.4 million people are living with hiv-aids today, almost all in the world's poorer countries. particularly subsaharan africa. too many don't have access to the medication and overall health care infrastructure that they need. aids is linked to many other
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problems of poverty, malnutrition and other inphishes diseases as well. -- infectous diseases as well. it contributes to a sense of helplessness in countries that are already susceptible to violence and terrorism. if we don't contain and defeat this epidemic it will undermine democratic governments. it will continue to impede economic growth overseas and it will strengthen us right here in the united states. in other words, this isn't just an economic issue or a health care issue. it's a national security issue. unfortunately, mr. speaker, over the last decade acting in our national security interest has come to mean invading and occupying foreign nations. the iraq war lasted nine years and was responsible for untold human misery. the afghanistan war, now in its 12th year, and it continues to damage our national security
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interest, instead of enhancing them. it hasn't defeated the taliban, nor has it alleviating crushing poverty or produced a stable democracy in afghanistan. and then there's the cost. some $10 billion a month. that would be a staggering amount of money for a successful policy. for a failed policy, it's downright scandalous, and it is rarely mentioned in all the conversations about so-called deficit crisis and fiscal cliffs. usaid and other civilian arms of government could do a world of good towards solving the aids crisis with a fraction of that money. why does the pentagon get a blank check while agencies that dispense aid to have to fight for every single nickel that they receive? why do we send and spend
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without restraint on wars and weapons and destroy life but we squeeze those programs that saved lives? for many years now, and you all heard me, this is my 443rd five-minute speech on this issue, for many years now i've been promoting the idea of smart security. smart security means protecting our interests, not with military force or by maintaining a massive nuclear arsenal, but by investing in development and diplomacy, through humanitarian assistance and partnerships around the world. at the aids conference in washington this past summer, there was a panel discussion on how in the struggle against hiv-aids we can do more with less. and what i want to know is, why
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do we have to settle for less when it comes to hiv-aids? this is a humanitarian crisis. our sense of moral deansency should be -- should compel us to invest whatever it takes to bring an end to it. it's not just the right thing, mr. speaker, it's the smart thing to do for our national security. . mr. wilson: our nation is on the cliff of collapse and yet we prop up a corrupt leader in afghanistan. our country is in the most dire
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of fiscal straits and we continue to send money to afghanistan. the worst part is the money we are sending we cannot audit, and many times the taxpayers' money ends up in the hands of the taliban to buy weapons to kill americans. mr. speaker, this poster beside me is a book that i read and the title is "funding the enemy." subtitle "how u.s. taxpayers bankroll the taliban." i'd like to quote lisa freeman who recently acknowledged that we lost 2,000 young americans in afghanistan. she lost her son, captain matthew freeman, 2007, in afghanistan. and ms. freeman said, where is america's outrage? where is america's concern that we're still at war? i agree with ms. freeman. where's the outrage here in congress? does this make any sense that we continue to borrow money from foreign governments to prop up a corrupt leader and
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half the money going to the leader of afghanistan ends up in the hands of the taliban to buy weapons to kill americans? our nation is broke. china owns us and we are sending our young men and our money to afghanistan and we're going to cut programs right here in america for the american people. . the american people need to put the pressure on congress to bring our troops home now and not wait until december of 2014. mr. speaker, i assure you if we start bringing them home in december of 2014, it will become 2015 and it will become 2016 and how many more families have to cry about their loved ones being killed in a war that has no end to it? mr. speaker, today i would like to submit for the record, i will ask unanimous consent the names of 28 american service members who have been killed in the last few weeks. thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, again i ask the people to look at this poster and realize that this war is
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costing us in so many, many ways. the most important our young men and women who are dying. if you agree with me that we need to bring our troops home before the current december 2014 deadline, please go to www.bringthemhome201.com, and sign the petition. mr. speaker, i have been to walter reed and bethesda now so many times to see the broken bodies, to see the faces of the moms and dads with pain in their face, to see the young man's face, or young woman's face that know that they will never be physically able to do what they have done before going to afghanistan. with that, mr. speaker, i make one last reference. i would hope that the colleagues of mine in both parties would read this book, funding the enemy, how the u.s. taxpayers back roll the taliban. this is a sin and it must stop. mr. speaker, i ask god to please bless our men and women in uniform, please bless the
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families of our men and women in uniform, to bless the families who have given a child dying for freedom in afghanistan and iraq. i ask god to help this congress come together with the senate and come forward with a plan that we, the american people, can be proud of. i ask three times, god please, god please, god please continue to bless america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, for five minutes. ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, america has always been known to rise to the occasion, the american people, our values, when there is a need for us to
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come together. a few minutes ago i sat in for a moment on the recapturing of the enormous bravery of those who were on flight 93. americans who came together and made a sacrifice. so although all my remarks will not speak to the issue of sacrifice, some of what i say this morning speaks to the values of the american people who always when called upon have said, send me. first i'd like to speak to an issue of just basic fairness. let me give great respect to the constitutional premise that the senate has the right to advice and consent. of course that comes with the presidential right to nominate persons to serve in his or her administration.
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either the cabinet level, undersecretaries, various appointees throughout the administration. administrations from years gone by. so i rise today to query a character assassination of ambassador susan rice. she has not been nominated. we are so fortunate to have a dynamic secretary of state in hillary clinton who has indicated her desire to leave the administration at the end of her term, but as also indicated, her willingness to continue her work, recently in syria, possibly even today in that devastating area. certainly perfect partner at the united nations for four years in diligent, excellent, astute, thoughtful, and patriotic service has been susan e. rice,
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a daughter of washington, d.c., and parents who loved america. a graduate of stanford university where, of course, she earned department honors and university distinction. became a harry s. truman scholar, phi beta kappa, and rhodes scholarship. certainly a beginning that did not warrant the kind of personal attacks that we have seen. i think we should leave politics and campaigns and won or lost races to november 6, 2012. for you cannot debate a political and presidential campaign around a patriotic public servant. if there is a nomination for ambassador rice, the senate has every right to advise and consent and the votes need to be taken on up and down. i can assure you that if she is nominated by the president, she
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will serve this nation well. as she has done in the past. i know her well as the assistant secretary for african affairs under the clinton administration. dealing with very difficult issues involving african countries such as ethiopia and air tria, responsive and detailed. why in the world would others who may have been equally culpable in misunderstanding what actually occurred on that day, the tragic day when we should be speaking more to the loss of brave americans in benghazi, libya, why is she the one that is pinpointed, pinpointed, pointed and with, i think, inappropriate accusations casting aspersions and doing damage to a reputation of service that is undeserving. so my words are simply this,
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let's be fair. let's carry on our rights as members of congress and speak to the issue of what a tragic incident that occurred in benghazi. if there is a nomination, which i hope there will be, among the many talented people that the president has, it will be his choice, senators that are eager, friends of mine, senator kerry, and others, may have this opportunity. but let us hold to the premise that you are innocent until proven guilty. that someone's great service is deserving of respect, and she is deserving of respect. susan rice is deserving of respect. let me move quickly to this idea that america cannot settle its issues of financial concern before the fiscal deadline. and see there is no cliff, because as we all well know, the simple premise of making sure that we have tax cuts for those making $250,000 and below have
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the right to follow through on the president's premise because this is what the american people voted on. vote for the tax relief of $250,000 below, mr. speaker, and move forward in reconciliation on doing the right thing for medicare holders and social security and medicaid, none of that has anything to do with the deficit, and therefore we need to know we are in a nonstarter position, mr. speaker. we need to go forward and reconcile to do what is right for the american people. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kansas, mr. pompeo, for five minutes. mr. pompeo: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, today i rise in support of the 1,300 citizens of buller, kansas, and all kansans, and in fact all americans who value religious freedom and liberty. the citizens of bulla are under assault. they are the latest victims of an unbodily extortion racket perpetrated for the freedom of religious foundation basted in madison, wisconsin.
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on september 14, 2012, the foundation sent a letter to mator of the town, alerting him to the foundation's intent to sue the city for its city seal which contained a cross and a billboard that included elements of that city seal that was in a city park. mr. speaker, this is an outrage. the seal and sign are harming no one. they are widely embringsed by the citizens of bulla kansas. it contains the words values and progressive ideas. unfortunately in this case progressive ideas are making a war on traditional values and it's high time for that to stop. some will claim the first amendment to the constitution requires the cross be removed from this seal and sign. that's hogwash. the first amendment begins with the words congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof. in this instance congress made no law. for that reason alone the first amendment does not apply. furthermore, it cannot be set that this simple seal in any way
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is an establishment of religion. there is no officially supported secretary or denomination in the manner, this is not in any way an endorsement of any particular religion or any religious denomination. in short the first amendment as originally written had nothing to do with the city sign. indeed, for the first 175 years of our constitutional history, no one would have read the first amendment in this way. they would have -- any way that would have prevented this seal or sign. mr. speaker, in this very room in which i stand, this very chamber, right over my right-hand shoulder is a sign that says in god we trust. the rotunda in the capitol, a chapel that's been in use since 1955 as a place where members go to pray for divine guidance in debating the issues of the day. a stained glass window there shows president george washington kneeling in prayer and the words of saum 16:1 surround him, preserve me, o god, for in thee i put my trust. and the holy bible rests on that
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altar. i'll grant you, the first amendment has been badly interpreted by the u.s. supreme court, and the 10th's circuit's rulings are even more troubling. it can well be in this case the city would lose this case. done fault the citizens of bulla, can a. for the pros certificate they are going through trying to figure out how to proceed. the freedom from prgs foundation knows this. they know they have attacked a city, threatened to sue a city with very few resources. we'll have a difficult time battling an extended period of litigation. i do not fault the folks to try to find a way to move forward without resulting in litigation. why didn't the freedom of religious foundation sue the united states congress for all that i spoke about just a minute ago? the reason is obvious. the reason is they are being bullies. they are seeking to put their secular vision in a place where they believe they can do it without opposition, a place that has fewer resources, and folks
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will face a very, very difficult decision about how the town and city should move forward. mr. speaker, i hope that this assault on religion and the public square will end soon. i'm very saddened by the recent events. i'm angered by the tactics. freedom for religious foundation, and above all i'm determined to ensure that the religious heritage of our great nation will not be cast aside. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. plaur: there is a great deal of -- mr. blumenauer: there is a great deal of hyperactive rhetoric about the fiscal cliff and the trouble ahead. the fact is that people should just take a deep breath and focus on where we are and where we need to go. first of all, it's not a fiscal cliff but a slope. there are many opportunities for us in the weeks ahead to be able
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to change the unsustainable trajectory of america's financial future. there are many efforts already evident and people taking steps to try and cope with it. the president campaigned very explicitly on raising the top tax rates. it was something that was embraced by democrats running for the senate and virtually all of them running for the house. . the house increased in democratic numbers. there were more democrats added to the house and more americans voted for the president and his vision, for the senate democrats and for democrats in the house than my republican friends on the other side of the aisle. it's encouraging that the president has decided that he's no longer going to negotiate with himself. he's laid out his positions,
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and has encouraged a response. i, for one, was pleased that there was a proposal that was offered up by my republican friends, signed not just by the speaker but the entire republican leadership. now, while it still does not have specifics about what those elusive tax loopholes that they want to close are specifically but will raise the revenue. i find this an encouraging sign that there is an effort for the first time to put something back, and i think there are opportunities for people to flush out the details. because there is an opportunity for tax reform. our system now is not efficient. it's chaotic. it's expensive, it's unfair. there is an opportunity for us going forward to add a little
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more rationality to it while it raises more revenue. there are countless opportunities in the department of defense to save money, starting with a quarter trillion dollars in the nuclear arsenal for weapons that we will never use and we don't need. there are opportunities for agricultural reform, and it's been my pleasure to work on bipartisan reform efforts with senator-elect jeff flake and my friend, paul ryan. and there are real opportunities in health care. now, i hope my republican friends will stop the charade we went through this last year and a half of repealing obamacare some 37 times. that train has left the station. the president was re-elected. it's not going to be repealed. the supreme court has decided
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it's constitutional. and most of the major health care players are busy at work implementing health care reform. but we have barely scratched the surface of the ability to squeeze more value out of the health care system. the united states does not have to spend nearly twice as much as all the other developed countries and actually have health care results that on average are worse than our european friends and japanese. we have the best health care for some americans but too many are denied health care and for many others are paying too much for results that aren't good enough. we know what to do. embedded in the health care reform act are elements of reform that used to have bipartisan support, starting with the mandate that was co-sponsored by 16 republican senators.
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elements of reform that were elemented by republican and democratic governors alike, including governor romney. it's time for us to act on those elements, to accelerate the reform. i note with no small amount of irony that the $716 billion that the republican ticket mr. romney and mr. ryan campaigned against the president on, paul ryan's budget included the same reductions and it's likely they will be in his budget that's coming forward. let's act on things that we agree. let's rebuild and renew america and find ways to save the money and puts on a path to fiscal responsibility that the american public needs and demands. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. lankford, for five minutes. mr. lankford: in a few days
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we're going to have to resolve the fiscal cliff. eye roncally enough, something the house of representatives passed last may. in april set out a tax plan. in may passed a sequestration plan, went to the senate and said we're going to see you in the lame duck time period. we're in the lame duck and this had has to be solved. we have to solve the problem. the first thing is to define what the problem even is. it seems one group is talking about the real problems, the fiscal cliff, and the other group is talking about the real problem, the debt and deficit. what is the real issue? we have $16.3 trillion in debt as a nation. $1 trillion of overspending or each year for the last four years. let me set the example of what this really means. in 2007, our tax revenue, how much we were bringing in the treasury, is almost exactly
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what it is in 2012. from 2007 to 2012, the revenue is almost identical. the difference is our spending has gone up $1 trillion a year. from 2007 to 2012. so over the course of that time it's slowly built up. but each year we've been over $1 trillion in spending. while our revenue has stayed consistent basically from 2007 to 2012, that spending has happened. we seemed to identify that is the real problem, we're overspending, and until you deal with that issue you can't raise taxes enough to be able to keep up with the $1 trillion of accelerated spending. what's the cliff? i have so many people from my district and other people, who catch me and pull me aside. we hear about the fiscal cliff. we are not even 100% sure what it is. well, it's really a combination of three things. the first is the obamacare taxes begin january 1 of next
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year. those taxes hit the middle class and the upper brackets. those taxes, when they kick in, will raise the rates on people making over $200,000 or more and will also remove deductions from the middle class. things like the flexible spending account, their taxes will go up. for people that have high medical bills and able to offset some of the taxes they pay because they have more than 7.5% of medical bills, they'll have their taxes go up. diabetic patients, stroke patients, people with special needs children, their taxes will go up as well as their tax rates go up january 1 for people making over $200,000 or more. that's the first part of the fiscal cliff. the second part of it is the spending decrease that this congress and the president agreed to the last summer to say we dramatically increase spending, we have to reduce that spending. that spending decrease that was agreed to had a deadline by the end of this year. if there didn't there would be
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across the board cuts. the house passed our spending decreases in may. the senate has yet to pass any. with that we're stuck with across-the-board cuts that will be in early january. and the tax rate for all americans. in 2001 and 2003 and then extended during the lame duck of 2010, every americans' tax rates were extended out to expire the 31st of december. every tax rate from the lowest to the highest is set to go up. some people see the problem is we're not taxing enough and so that solves the problem. to just go off the fiscal cliff and everyone will be taxed more. some say we don't take from some group and give to the other. some say go to the clinton tax rate. we had a booming economy and creating more jobs. if increasing taxes increases economic activity, why don't we go to a 95% tax rate and then we'll really have a booming economy? the reason that no one proposes
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that is because no one really believes that. that's why the accelerated tax rate that's being recommended by the white house is also being proposed by another stimulus plan, a spending plan. here's the example that i can talk about with this. when people talk about just raise taxes in the upper 2%, well, here's an example of what's being proposed by the president. capital gains will go to 28.3%. dividends will go from 15% to 43.4%. now, i have a lot of people that will say to me, just raise it on the upper bracket. but when i tell them, can i tell you what that means? their taxes go from 15% to 43.4%, i have yet someone stop me and say, that's fair. it sounds so much easier to say, raise it on someone else, not on us. we have to solve the problem. just raising taxes doesn't solve the problem. we're spending $1 trillion more than what we did five years ago with a tax revenue the same. if we do not focus on spending,
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we will never solve the problem. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. murphy, for five minutes. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. speaker. well, speaking of saving money, here's an interesting story. just two weeks after texans in randall county voted for republican barry goldwater over their native son, lyndon johnson, the presidential race in the 1960's, the pentagon announced randall air force base was closing. people were flabbergasted. the air force had just made millions in investments at the base but now airmen and equipment were moving to a county that supported johnson. it was this kind of abuse of sdemreck tif power that led congress to write a new law ensuring we had proper oversite over base closures. in my pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, we're finding out why that law must be strengthened.
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last week i learned the air force is again attempting to shut down the 911th airlift wing and air force base for reasons that has nothing to do with cost or military strategy. in fact the 911th is the most lean and cost-effective bases in the country. i don't know why they can do this without congressional approval is interesting. the air force claims inaccurately there are fewer than 300 civilian employees authorized to be employed at the 911th, allowing the pentagon to close the base without congressional review. the pentagon, however, has invested over $50 million in improvements in the base, including new buildings, in the last five years. the 911th however, has lower overhead costs because emergency response, like fire and safety, air traffic control, security, runway maintenance and land are provided by pittsburgh international airport for free. hence, in the 911th were force to insource those activities, the number of authorized personnel would be hundreds
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more and would far exceed 300 person threshold and thus the pentagon would be prohibited from closing it. further, the air force reserve would have to invest millions more in equipment and training if it was not provided for free, but the air force did not look at any of these numbers and did not review the cost. the pentagon is trying to close the base because they can, not because they should. and their haste to come up with a quick cut, it will cost the taxpayers over $100 million in coming years and that's why congress needs to have oversight. the house has passed a defense bill to prevent a suboptimal decision, like this one and the future. the house bill includes language requiring the pentagon to notify congress about any base closure or transfer of troops impacting more than 1,000 uniformed personnel. unlike the way the air force is operating now, the defense department would have to include a justification for the reduction and evaluation of the
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costs and benefits and an evaluation of the local environmental, strategic and operational consequences by requiring significant reductions in uniformed personnel to be included in the budget request, congress will have two opportunities to review, block or approve a base closure. in the annual defense authorization bill and the defense appropriations bill. the senate is nearing completion of its version of the defense bill today, and it is my hope that both chambers will work to restore congress' proper oversight authority. the issue facing congress is not a new one. since the 1960's, the executive branch has tried repeatedly to close bases for reasons other than the best interest of taxpayers or the military. the necessity of a strong base closure law, giving congress oversight of these decisions, was perhaps best expressed in 1985 by senator carl levin. he said, quote, these protections against untrammelled executive power to close bases came because members of this senate and this congress felt that the power to
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close bases had been abused and had been used as a club over members of congress, unquote. today it is the 911th. but tomorrow it could be a base in any member's district. i urge my colleagues to support efforts to strengthen the base closure law, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon today. the house is meeting with a
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group of governors today as well as the president to discuss the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations. that meeting is goodlett for the afternoon, the president meeting with governors this morning. you can find all of that , ourage, including tweets website. also happening this morning and brought much of the day, a group calling themselves campaign to fix the dead is discussing health care costs and the tax code. we will take a short lead to a discussion on the tax code led by the chairman of the finance committee, max baucus of montana. in the meantime, from this morning, a group that heard from rob portman and the director of the economic council gene sperling. we will show you as much of their remarks as we can until
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the portion with senator baucus gets under way. >> actually, they just give my speech. i would like to grow and not slow the economy. that is part of the answer to this. we may disagree on how we do it, but we are not going to get the fiscal house in order without having additional revenue, and that comes from growth. we also need to restrain spending, we need to do both. in washington, there is such a deep fiscal hole right now we cannot find it without both. again, we will have differences of opinion on how to do it. there are strong opinions on its sides -- on each side, both sides, but that is why we need a discussion today, why we need a successful outcome, not only to the fiscal cliff talks, but also to the longer issue of debt and deficit, and long-term growth. i was asked to focus on what might be possible in terms of
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possible tax reform. i know tax reform and health care reform are the two topics we are discussing this morning. i look forward to hearing from gene and this distinguished panel behind us. with regards to the health care tax issues, if we go through the fiscal cliff discussions it and do not take advantage of that opportunity to put in place reforms to the entitlement programs which are incredibly important but also unsustainable, and if we do not take advantage of it, to look at our tax system, which is antiquated, outdated, inefficient, we will have squandered the opportunity to address the longer-term problem and will be right back on the cliff again. the fiscal cliff is approaching. we have to approach it. if we do not, we will see $5 billion in tax increases, across the board arbitrary cuts, including $50 billion in defense, which the congressional
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budget office, federal reserve, and others have looked at, looking at the target of the fiscal cliff, and have decided this could push the economy back into a recession. that is the last thing we want to see. along the lines of growth, we want to be sure we are not doing something short-term the puts the economy back in a position where we are not generating revenue because of lack of growth to be able to deal with these issues and get our unemployment down. this recovery is not your father's recovery. it is different in kind. it is different than any recovery we have had in this country. if you look at even the recovery in 2001, 2003, we called it the jobless recovery. yet, by this time in that recovery, we had already brought back 2.6 million jobs. at this point after the recession began, 2.6 million
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jobs have returned. that was considered jobless. if you look at the recovery after the 1981 recession, a recession that was also deep -- in fact, the unemployment was higher than the most recent recession. we were up 7.2 million jobs at this point. unfortunately, we find ourselves 14.2 million jobs short. it is different in kind. unless we focus on the growth side of the equation, in addition to restrain spending, we will not see the kind of robust recovery we hope for. with that comes additional revenue and the ability for us to deal with this deep fiscal hole. i think it is not a textbook recovery, in part, because america's fundamental structures are not keeping up. i was asked to talk about taxes today. america has, in essence, sat on the sidelines, and allow the rest of the global economy,
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particularly other developed countries, to catch up, and in some cases, surpass us with the kinds of structures that have put in place for their economy to make them more competitive. i give it a great example of our corporate tax code. we were just talking about tax reform. he has a little background in this from 1986. we had the successfully high marginal rates, antiquated terms of international trade, and since 1986, america has sat on the sidelines. since 1986, while we have done nothing to reform our tax code, every single one of our oecd partners in the world has, and they have not just reduced their rates, which is something that the marquee that people look at. in canada, their federal rate
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has gone from 16.5% to 50%, and they have also reform their structure in more fundamental ways -- 15%, and they have also reformed the structure in more fundamental ways. that has resulted in the movement of capital and people and investment. it is an opportunity during the fiscal cliff discussions to not just -- >> all of these comments will be available on our c-span library. on the screen is senator max baucus, chairman of the finance committee. he will be talking about reforming the tax code, followed by a panel discussion. >> it is good to be here to try to help in any way i can. i first want to commend erskine bowles and senator alan simpson,
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the entire coalition, for your laser-like focus on this. you are engaging the american people, that is clear. you are drawing attention to the fiscal challenges that threaten our future. i know many here today are proponents of the simpson bowles plan. i service center simpson and mr. bowles on the national commission for fiscal responsibility and reform, and while i agree that the final proposals, there were several aspects could not agree with at the time. however, this report has helped advance the national dialogue and has taken on increasing importance, and should absolutely be part of our debt reduction debate. i would but to start this morning by telling you what i am hearing at home from my montana bosses. i work for all those folks in montana. a couple weeks ago i was at the montana state university football game, the biggest rivalry in not only the state,
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rivaling many parts of the country, a rivalry that dates back 112 years. we call it the brawl of the wild. that is what it is. it is a brawl. sometimes, i think that is what we should call the united states congress. more than 26,000 fans crammed into the stadium to watch the annual battle on the gridiron. during the game, mostly during halftime when there is a break in the action, fans would come up to me and say, "hi, max, good to see you." we would often talk about football and then it would turn to washington. not once did someone say, do not do this, do not raise my taxes, do not cut my favorite program. not once did i receive a
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parochial request. my montana bosses told me again and again, just get it done. you need to work together to get it done. i was really almost stunned at the unanimity and intensity with which people spoke to me, get it done. these folks did not ask for a stalemate or inflexibility, they did not ask for our leaders to dig in their heels over ideology. they are pragmatic. they want almost stunned at the unanimity and intensity with which people spoke to me, get it done. these folks did not ask for a stalemate or inflexibility, they did not ask for our leaders to dig in their heels over ideology. they are pragmatic. they want the congress and the president to work together. they want us to talk of these great challenges. keeping with the football team, sharing the words of vince lombardi, he said, people that work together will win. whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society. this i receive a is a simple lesson, one that we all learn as children. it is what we need to do now. stakes could not be higher.
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more than $7 trillion in tax cuts, medicare payments, and program for the unemployed will expire 27 days from today. adding to the spending cuts and tax increases are sequestration cuts of almost 10% of defense and non-defense, 2% of others. it would be hard to find a single american not affected by these changes. expire 27 days from today. adding to the spending cuts and tax increasesyou all know how ss and you believe, like me, that we can do it, to current fiscal crisis, but the answer is not just to extend all these tax cuts and delayed the spending cuts indefinitely. that is not the answer. this is an opportunity to commit to a balanced plan to bring our national debt back down to a sustainable level. the united states, i believe, is at a critical juncture to. we can come together and show the world that we are still responsible actors. we can prove that america is still the leader of the global
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economy. people are watching. do we still have it? or we can let obstructionism and stagnation turn this country that we love so much into a second based superpower. i spent a few days last fall meeting with european leaders. i was meeting with finance ministers, the head of the european commission, anybody i could talk to to get a sense of europe, perhaps real countries, germany, finland, each with different points of view, but also all with the common view that they have to find a way to work out their differences to save the euro. i believe they will. you can see it, feel it, -- listen to the words. they will find a way to get it done. these countries are also looking to us for leadership.
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europe chose the danger of uncertainty. we all know that. we all know the uncertainty that exists in this country. uncertainty leaves businesses sitting on the sidelines. it drags down investment and economy into the capital. companies will postpone decisions the next quarter. maybe they will not hire, not do what they would like to do. we cannot leave people wondering what is coming down the pike every few months. confidence matters. it especially matters in our economy. once we resolve the cliff, we need long-term fiscal reduction so that businesses can climb to the future. to get families and businesses certainty, we must agree in the next few weeks on specific spending cuts and specific revenue increases that reduce the deficit to avoid the fiscal cliff. we should not put off the hard decisions with gimmicks or with triggers. that is what got us here in the
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first place. it is time to bite the bullet and make the tough decisions and make them now. the first thing we should do is immediately and permanently extend the middle-class tax cuts. this will provide needed certainty to america's families and businesses and markets. this decisive action will ensure millions of american families do not see a tax hike of more than $2,000 starting next month. any agreement must also include a long-term extension of the debt ceiling. america cannot afford another debilitating fiscal showdown. has to be a package deal. then we need to enact a long term and, granted the solution. the most serious plan to recommend $4 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years to restore fiscal balance. the budget control act looked at $1 trillion, bringing our troops home from iraq and afghanistan saves another $800 billion. that is real savings, and it
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should be counted. interest savings provide another $600 billion. there is no reason we cannot come together to find at least $2 trillion in additional deficit reduction to get us to more than $4 trillion. this plan will strengthen the economy, put us on a sustainable path forward, and will ramp up over time to avoid slowing down the economic recovery. 40% of the long-term growth in federal health programs is due to rising health-care costs, generally. 40%. 60% is due to americans aging. in fact, each and every day, and 10,000 americans turn 65. every day. 10,000 americans enter medicare. as chairman of the finance committee, i can influence a lot of policies, but i cannot keep folks from getting older. we need to focus on what we can
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influence, and that is over all health care cost. shifting cost to seniors is not the solution. we cannot break the promise of medicare and social security. that is a bedrock. we cannot break that promise. i was proud to how crafty affordable care act and we took major steps to slow the growth of health-care spending and strengthen medicare and medicaid, but there is still more to do. we need to focus on facts. if you turn on any television during the campaign season you saw attack ads claiming billions of cuts to medicare, putting seniors at risk. nothing could be further from the truth. there were zero cuts to medicare beneficiaries in the affordable care act. these ads are the types of misleading attacks that prevent progress.
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both parties are guilty. i will be the first to admit, but none will be able to come together on these tough decisions if they use as red hot issues to branch each other. there will be no winners if both sides continue these kinds of fights. we rise and fall as one nation. right now crippling levels of debt are choking off economic vitality. . the debt to gdp ratio is currently 73%. over the past few years revenues as a share of gdp-truck to the lowest they have been since world war ii. as more and more baby boomers retire, it is a fact that we need revenues above historical averages to deal with this demographic reality. we are simply not raising enough revenue.
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we need or real, significant new revenue this month. once that revenue is locked in, we can turn to overhauling our tax code in a modern economy. i am committed to tax reform. i have no better partner in this mission than dave can. i have been developing a plan that will help create jobs, expand opportunities, and we have a lot of work to do, but i am optimistic. we can restore confidence in america. a balanced solution will provide a fiscal course correction. when we reach a meaningful deal, and i am confident we will, every credit rating agency will have restored america's' 8 rating. there are good people on the other side of the aisle. my colleague senator hatch recognizes the seriousness of the challenge.
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working together we can get this done, we can restore america's economic vitality. i will conclude where i began, taking you back to the football game in montana. at the end of the game, players gathered at the midfield to shake hands. beat eachjsut other to a pulp, but they came together and they did. thousands of fans who had spent the weekend stay in reverie were montanans, americans. this is the spirit we need now. now is the time to get to work. before i finish, thank you, and happy holidays, i am reminded of something say it on occasion,
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something i believe, and that is this -- all of us, everybody in this room, a lesson congress, all of us who aspired to positions of leadership and have the public trust, even those of us who are not in public positions, all of us have a moral responsibility and when we leave this place we leave it in as good a shape or a better shape as when we found it. all of us come down and if we follow that moral obligation, not only will be helping our kids and grandkids, but we will be helping ourselves and we will be doing the right thing. we all have that moral obligation to leave this place -- we're not here forever, just a short time, and when we do believe that, we leave it in a better shape than we found it. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, and banking to the
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chairman for joining us. i will turn the stage back to peter cook who will moderate our next panel on tax reform. thank you. >> chairman, you are welcome to sit around, but i have a funny feeling you will get back to the bill. we hope to come up with some ideas from this esteemed panel. [indiscernbile] we will write them down and send them out. i will hand them to your staffer. all right, you hear the mission here, folks. that can pass congress and meet with everyone's approval. no small task. >> thank you. >> thank you, chairman baucus. there are new faces at the table, and we want to welcome all of you. i will go around the table quickly and introduce at least our new faces. we have got bill gale from the institution.gs
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also a former economic adviser to president bush. john podesta, the chairman of the center for american progress. welcome. i will note that john has to leave us early, so i might put him first when we start questioning. donald marron, co-director of the urban tax policy center. we have will marshall as well, joining us from the progressive policy institute, the founder and president of the progressive policy institute. we have bob packwood from oregon, the former chairman of the senate finance committee. we hope to get your thoughts. the other folks here have been part of the conversation. my only message to the new arrivals, please jump in whenever you see fit. we have about an hour to an hour
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half.fa i would direct the conversation as best i can. we're talking now about the other very small issue in this debate, and that is tax policy and how best to put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path and incorporate changes in tax policy to get there. the question of revenue, how much, where to get it, the options on the table, and like all your thoughts, they need some ideas. both sides need this to bridge this gap because right now we appear to be a stalemate. i will turn it over to john podesta to get your thoughts. knowing that john has to live, and the center for american progress has come up with ideas, and, john, maybe you would like to weigh in on some of those, and your thoughts on this debate. >> peter, following up on this morning's session, in order that a balanced approach, we need but
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revenue and spending restraint. we need to ideas that you talked about this morning with respect to restraint, particularly in the entitlements and medicare to specifically, but we also need new revenue. we spent about the last year trying to think through how to get right new revenue, and we probably power of ideas from both sides, but we put together a group of people who bore quite experienced, bob rubin, larry summers, well-known names, and we try to work through hell would you raise enough revenue to actually hit the simpson- polls target. -- simpson-bowles targer. we limit it unjustified tax
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loopholes, but we primarily did it by converting the current system of deductions which favor high income tax payers which equalizes the benefits of middle income and high-income tax payers get. we restored the top rate to 39 per 6%. there is an lot of debate about whether you can lower the rate. it is incumbent upon other people to come forward to show how they can get the income necessary to deal with our fiscal problem and be specific about how they would take the loopholes and deductions out of the system and how much that would hit the middle class. overall, the plan i think tries to protect people in the middle and at the bottom, try to deal with the problem of income
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inequality, and we think it is an important contribution to tax reform going for it. i anticipate a full-blown tax proposal will take place in the next few weeks, but hopefully the parameters of a budget deal that gets to that of $4 trillion marks that includes significant tax reform will be the first order of business in the 2013, and this is an important contribution. >> let me ask one specific. your proposal you put forward, more revenue than the president. what about the trigger for some of the capping of the deductions, and the bidding the deductions? is it the $250,000 mark? but we convert to lend a pre% kind -- which convert to an 18% credit, and the reason we did that have been considered at --
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bill is one of the leading experts on the country on this question -- if you simply limit deductions it has a differential effect, on charitable contributions, for a high-income tax payers, that cap on deductions would be eaten up local income tax deductions, and you are socking it to the charitable sector by putting a hard cap on deductions. we thought it was better to equalize the rate by going to a credit system. that weight middle-class, higher-income people all get an 18% deduction rather than a million they're getting 35 cents on the dollar for a dollar of mortgage interest deduction versus a teacher kidding 15 cents on the dollar. we think that is unfair, and that is a way of equalizing that. >> that is the offer from the center for american progress. i assume this is a plant that does not meet your test,
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probably will not meet the test of house republicans as well. i will give you a chance to weigh in on what the center for american progress has put forward, but how would you bridge the divide between where boehner and obama is, on the specific issue of revenue and overhauling the tax code? >> taken. my job is to tell my clients what is going to happen, not what i would like to happen. i would like to take a close look at what is being proposed. with regard to taxes and deductions, what i am struck by is how rapidly the debate is moving away from bull's best said. polls-simpson said brown the base, lower the rates. we now have the president's proposing raising the rates and opposing a base-broadening measure. republicans want to keep the rate same and run the base, but that is different. bowles-simpson had it right.
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i look at the logic of the white house with regard to the idea of capping a itemized deductions. i would like to take a look at it from a cost-benefit point of view. we're looking at tax expenditures, and we should benefits inst of doing it. they're against it for two reasons, the first one was effected some taxpayers making less than 2 hen $50,000, which is true. this would be a $50,000 cap, said the people we're talking about are people who are using way above average levels of itemized deductions at that level. when -- to the analysis using the tabulated data, i get about 1.2 million taxpayers with incomes under $250,000 over the $50,000 cap. according to the white house,
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they are proposing to get around that by a method that costs $200 billion over the 10 years. if you apportion that to protect these 1.2 million taxpayers and all of whom who will have a tax increase of a few thousand, not much more than that, they are going to do a transfer equal to $180,000 per taxpayer. that will be the revenue cost of their proposal. that just does not meet my standard of cost-benefit analysis. i think that one falls away. the second argument has to do with protection of charity. my very first paper was the charitable deduction, and i am a great believer in it, but we have to take a careful look at it from a cost-benefit point of view. according to my good friend gene sperling and his blog, the
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estimate to propose to cap deductions will cost about $100 billion in charitable giving over the next 10 years. during the cost involved is $200 billion. if i understand the white house's cost-benefit analysis correctly, in order to have $100 billion of extra charitable giving to charities by the twists of the rich, but the general taxpayer has to give up twice as much or $200 billion. that really does not make the basic test of the cost-benefit analysis. whether giving $180,000 in revenue cost to protect an artificial line or having a cost to the taxpayer of $2 for every additional dollar of charitable giving that the rich people are going to give, the white house's analysis does not meet standard cost-benefit analysis, which maybe is why we have trillion-
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dollar deficits. there are lots of ways of doing this. capping the itemized deduction gets to the people you -- its revenue from people you want to get it from, and does so in a way that is minimally distorting. it fits in with the approach of broadening the base and of the least not raising the rates. >> i want to go to senator packwood. he was part of the 1986 the session. bring some of the prospective to this conversation, if you can. >> let me talk about the processes how this was done, because the process can be duplicated, but you got a different situation. you want to raise revenue, take care of medicare and medicaid. all we were trying to do in 1986 was lowered the rates, corporate and individual, on revenue- neutral basis. that is what president reagan said. if you raise money or lower money with it, i will veto it. the house have worked all 1985
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on this bill and had a hell, time, and the abrupt end on the floor near christmas. a democratic bill. remember what the house was in 1985. the republicans have not controlled it in 30 years. the democrats regarded them irrelevant. all the republicans voted against it. about 50 or 60 democrats did not like in there, and when the motion was brought up, for no amendments on the bill, the motion failed, and it was on to be open for amendments and it would kill the bill. the president at this stage calls the republicans and says vote for the bill, if it comes to be in this fashionable veto it. nobody wants his fingerprints on it, and it passes on a voice vote pick it comes to the senate and start working on it in march and we are treading water and not going forward, not going backward. i was not satisfied with
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progress. one day i said to my chief of staff with let's go to the irish times and have a beer. we had two pitchers of beer, and you would be amazed what kind of courage that gives you. [laughter] >> that is where all grandparents are formed? >> they said give me a tax bill with a 25% tax rate. we will get rid of mortgage interest. i said what about 26%? he comes back on tuesday -- this is now day four -- and he has three bills. i thought we are not going anyplace the way we are, so on thursday, which is now day 6, i called committee together in a public meeting and laid out the ideas. it was not even the bill. here is what conceivably possible. at the end of the meeting, a
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number of them were nodding and said maybe that would work. at this date i said, how telepathist together? i spent the next three days call lying six senators, one hand, bradley, mitchell, danforth, chafee, and would they be willing to meet in my office in secret starting on tuesday morning at 8:30, and here is the goal, we will try to work toward -- closing loopholes, and i said that to the democrats, and i said to the republicans, lowering rates. you had the possibility of a marriage. we start the meeting at endicott 30 in tuesday -- at 8:30 on tuesday in secret. we met tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, and there are no secrets.
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you could see the interest groups we were going to hit start to get their. -- start to gather. thursday the entire hearing room was full. friday they were out in the hallways. they could see what was coming. friday analyst we were not want to have any meetings, it was a warm day in may, and why don't you call for sail? for those who are still interested, seven of us, we could be tomorrow, they said yes. we met on saturday morning, and no press and no longer be around. they had all gone. at that stage we finished it, taxmatic cuts in the ira's, credit, elimination of passive losses, and i was all set and was ready to go on monday with final passage. on sunday, lloyd bentsen calls.
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he wants back for the oil and gas industry something called a working interest, a form of passive losses, that we had just gotten rid of for all other industries, and he wanted it back for oil and gas. i thought to myself, i could beat him 12-8, but then i have the opposition to all these guys. i said i will give it to you, and the condition you support everything else in the bill. done, he says. i said i will get you the buds. i am not going to vote for this turkey. i had to lean on danforth and chafee and others to vote for this thing, and when it came up at passed. it is only the 19th day from the t 1:30f this lunch, and and
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in the morning it passes. it was inevitable something like this would pass. it passes in the senate 97-3. could that be duplicated? forget whether or not you can raise or lower rates paid to the process be duplicated? i can only see two ways it could be done. one, the present cost 20 people together at camp david northeast says where are to be here all weekend, and we may stay all week, and we are not coming out until we know we are agreed. everybody -- he knows the problem. republicans the the problem, democrats know the problem. you're going to have to withstand the increase in entitlements and republicans will have to give in on revenue. they did not want to take the first and admit it. it can be done that way, or it could be done in congress if a bipartisan group can be done in
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secret, and you wanted to quit before the opposition can gather. do it within 10 days to two weeks. could it be done, yes, and one humorous,. when we finished at 1:30 in the morning, the undersecretary of the treasury, the president, and gene baker were in japan. the president was going to one of these economic things in philippines and india. darmin calls baker. he says, jim, the president is going to love this bill. he is gone to love it. just tell him to shut up. his friends are not gone to let this bill. there want to get to him. don't say anything until you can fully brief him.
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that is the way it happened, and that was the past as question of the process. >> that was the process in 1986. can that happen this day? >> it feels like a different environment. i do not know, but right now we are in the middle of a political test of wills on marginal tax rates. it is interesting we're not fighting on the underlying principle, which is that wealthy ought to pay more in order to help us close debts and deficits, get our economy back on track. right now the president thinks he won a point, was vindicated by his victory in the election, and republicans did not want to do that, but he has the hand in this struggle. restoring the clinton tax rates is something i would support. we supported them back in 1991 when bill clinton was running for president.
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no problem on that. it is a reasonable adjustment, but may not be sufficient to reach the targets we need and it does not help us in bipartisan bargaining, reaching a deal. i hope as this negotiation -- we ought to be at the irish times -- that they will not make a fetish of marginal tax rates street if they should go up some, but do they need to go back where they work? i do not know. lots of ways to increase taxes on rich people, and it may be that a hybrid of marginal tax increases and the kind of base- broadening loophole closing expenditure closing that simpson-bowles proposed should be part of the mix. raising marginal rates does not guarantee you will get your intended target. a very rich people depend more on investment income than on
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their labour income. if you want to get them -- and this is where mitt romney was able to pay a 14% tax rate on earnings of $14 million -- so if you are trying to get the super- rich, the top 10th of 1%, it may be that marginal tax rates does not serve your purpose. whatever happens now, what ever cut a deal gets through this initial time, next year we have to look forward to a fundamental tax reform that will boost growth and competitiveness. we cannot just leave it with the debate, we have to have a more comprehensive change, and i that you get the biggest efficiency gains by getting rid of loopholes in the tax codes on both a personal and corporate side spirit we get back to that simpson-bowles, where they had the right target
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in terms of how much revenue they race in this way, but the principle of the 1986 reform should be lodestar for comprehensive tax reform, that is, lowest tax rates on the broadest possible base. that is the one that will get as to the immediate crisis. >> let me turn to bill gale and get his perspective on the notion of these deductions, cleaning out the underbrush, and the effect that would have in terms of generating revenue for the government and the options on the table. what will produce the revenue needed to get this grant a pardon? >> thank you. in terms of thinking about getting rid of the deductions or expanding the base, there is basically three approaches we can take. one is the overall cap, capping the total amount of deductions or capping the tax value of deductions, it has been put
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forward. the advantage of that is politically you are not actually attacking anyone specific subsidy. you are saying we are putting a cap on the overall system. a second level is what john protest that mentioned, which was we are going to change specific items, but we will change them in the same way. we are changing yours, but you are not special, we're not picking on you, so we will change all the deductions to 18% in credits. the third way, which is perfect from the economic approach, is to deal with each of these on an individual basis. tax expenditures cover an enormous range of activities, whether exclusions or deductions or credits or lower rates, etc. we call them tax expenditures, but it should not hide the underlying heterogeneity.
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a package that went after, say, the mortgage interest deduction is not economically justified it might simultaneously keep the charitable deduction as an effort to help the non-profit sector. every economist has their own favorite list of how they would tweak each one of them. the problem is politically you are going after specific sectors, and as senator packwood just discussed, that will generate enormous opposition to that particular provision. as far as the economics is concerned, we know the direction we want to go. we want to expend the base. what i do not get is how the politics will work. i do not see the democrats to rolling housing -- democrats throwing housing or health under the bus in order to get lower rates for the bus -- for the wealthy, and i did not seek republicans throwing other
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incentives under the bus to get lower rates. the question is where it is the revenue from the lower rates coming from, and i think the answer ultimately will be from somewhere outside the income tax system, either a value-added tax or a carbon tax. >> anyone want to weigh in on these? david, i see you smiling down there. >> i was waiting for judd to jump in. he is the one that convinced me. >> ultimately, i think have gotten more than they can handle. the revenue targets the needs to reach, the spending targets they need to reach now knocked enormous, but if you look down the road, in particular at health care spending, given the
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discussion we had before, we can do everything we want to try to control health-care spending, but another way to help control health care spending is earmarked a value-added tax toward revenue which would have an immediate link between how much was spent, how much people have to pay in taxes, it would eliminate their repressivity of that, and it would inoculate the deficit from uncertainty about health-care reform. health care reform will take a long time. it is more complicated than tax reform. we have had one major tax reform in the last 50 years, thanks to senator packwood and others. we cannot wait to fix the deficit until we fix the health care system. i think including any vat as a way to pay for health care will
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solve the deficit situation while allowing the flexibility to do what we need to do on health care side. >> go ahead. >> first off, let me say any tax policy should add as its foundation the purposes of creating fairness, but growth. that is what we should try and have as our goal here, and i think simpson-bowles got it right. i feel strongly about that, that you get a much better tax policy if you reduce rates. on the vat tax, my theory, having served as governor and in the senate for a while, is all government moves left. the speed at which it moves to the left depends -- think of it
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it depends on the engines on the train. the engines are revenue sources. at the federal level is the capacity to borrow. if you put an engine of the value-added tax on any train, whether a state sales tax or a federal value-added tax, you will dramatically expand the size of the government as a percent of the gross national product. i understand that we need a much bigger government, and there was probably nobody can pay for it with an income tax system, because the fact is you have never gotten more than 14% from the income tax system. >> that is right, though. >> you need a huge new revenue source. i come from new hampshire, and we have had an experience of this in new england. new hampshire has no income
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tax, no sales tax. every state around hampshire had one or the other: into the 1960 's, and every state added another one, either the sales tax or the income tax. whitbread is hesitation to their people that the other tax would come out and the revenue would be used because it will be more effective in collecting it. every one of those states, the revenues have gone down, the income tax has gone up, and the size of government has gone up. from my standpoint, a dow-added tax is just a way to grossly expand the size of the government, and it does not fix our revenue problems. more importantly than that, just the point where i think this argument ends up, the american people would annihilate any party passed and national sales
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tax rate if the democratic party thinks they are in charge now, and they are, and the republican party has done some things to marginalize itself, but if you want to resurrect a republican party, give me a value-added tax. but let's take a bite-added tax off the table for this the session, and i want to turn to donald marron and bring it back to the reality we are today and get your numbers perspective. speaker boehner offered up to the president $800 billion in revenue, all through closing loopholes dealing with deductions, no increase in rates. first of all, on the basic math, can you get to $800 billion over 10 years that way? how would you do it? and more importantly, as i worked my sources on capitol hill, looking what the president has offered, $1.60 trillion, could you get to $1.20 trillion
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by eliminating deductions, perhaps installing caps there without raising rates? >> i will play the think tank or inside washington card, and go back to what is not possibly achievable and then come back to that. if you think about from an economic perspective, the hierarchy of the best ways to raise more revenue, the first senator mentioned baker but people earlier mentioned crist is undoubtedly the best way to raise additional revenue if you can find a way to do that. we talk about growth inside the fiscal discussion. we should not lose track of the fact that there are other things we can do as a nation to encourage growth, and an obvious one is to think about intelligent immigration reform. that has significant fiscal impact that is outside the box of these discussions and should be brought back in. the second is, and this is the other thing outside the box, the next best way to raise revenue is to tax things you do not like. to the extent we're worried
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about climate change and carbon emissions, doing something like is an attractive place to look for revenue. next most attractive is consumption tax, dowdy-added tax, or some ingenious ways to turn the income tax into a consumption tax. that is probably the best way to raise large amounts of revenue. he then you come to fixing the income tax. in fixing the income tax, the barber stack i have is braun the base cannot lower the rates, you want to go after the tax preferences. we can call them all loopholes. keep in mind most of them are fundamental social and economic policies. they are the right place to look. as a budget matter, these ideas of broad-based caps on and makes sense from an arithmetic point of view, that if you are aggressive, you can raise the
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numbers you are describing. as larry was putting out, if you decide to limit it only to the people who are $250,000 and up, you lose a significant amounts of money. the first reason is it turns out there's a lot of money in potential taxes and people who earn between $75,000.200 $50,000, the middle class, and if you were willing to have and another would be if you put a cap at $250,000, you have to face again. on a blackboard you can get to the kinds of numbers that boehner has mentioned, although i have not seen what specifics are behind it. to the extent to put constraints on that, utah trim that number down. -- you've trend that number down. >> i want to expand this out. >> i want to start by taking a
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step back in terms of what we are trying to do in fixing the budget. it is an opportunity to reform our budget as put in place a deal that would stabilize the debt. there are a lot of things that are wrong with our budget. when you think about spending, you do not want to renew spending. you want to think about how to shift our spending from consumption to investment, about how to change entitlement so they are for the long term, not squeezing out the rest of the budget and strengthening them for the most vulnerable. on the tax side, no question you want to reform the system. there is nobody who should want to be in the business of defending our current tax code. to start with the most daunting, we have over $1 trillion a year in lost revenue because of all the breaks that run to the code. generally, they are regressive, inefficient, ineffective, they
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have virtually no oversight, they run on automatic pilot. when you pay your taxes, you think i'm getting money back, i got some tax breaks, so they are incredibly popular. if you listen to experts, there are few people who want to defend them. i agree with bill and donald in talking about the different ways you can reform the tax code on the income tax. the single best thing we would do is go through and look at the trillion-plus in tax expenditures. think about how we want to change that. do you want to subsidize vacation homes? do we need to subsidize the home mortgage up to a million dollars? the health care excision is not only tax reform, it is health care reform. many of us think the political system is not well equipped to take on these hard battles. then you come to some of the second-best options, a way to
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limit these tax deductions to caps? a lot of the ways you can relate this so you can limit the deductions to the expenditures, and you can meet targets. you can meet a purchase of the target, revenue targets, by changing a couple things. what kinds of things would be capped and a tax expenditure cap, how he would do if you had progressive rates, or face attack at the upper incomes, and a way to offset the costs. if people were getting hit, you can compensate for that in other ways in the code. my main point would be we did not want to walk away from the opportunity to reform the tax code. it is swiss cheese, the thing that everybody hates. think it is hard to fix these problems. one of the reasons people talk about lowering the rates and a broadening the base is that is what how you helps the
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incentives. we do so much money that you can reduce the deficit significantly, lower the rate, still have the group you are asking to to pay more, pay more if you're willing to broaden the base. the point i would make is that as difficult as it is, we should use this opportunity to think about what a most sensible tax system is, and one of the pieces we have made progress on, which will have real revenues as a budget deal, and that along with spending and economists is critically important. no matter how we raise or how much we raise the revenues, a small or big enough, we should strive to raise that in the most efficient way possible, and that is including tax reform as part of this overall d is a critical part of growth. >> david, do you want to get in? >> i want to echo a number of the comments, because the way i described it is if we had actually been trying to develop an incomprehensible, confusing,
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and globally uncompetitive system which could not have done a better job than what we got. there is a something to the principal called entropy that says all organized systems evolve to chaos, and and where i looked when we started with tax reform, that is pretty much where we have got into at this point. i recognize again that i would say that there is a short-term and long-term problem, and we should find a way to be addressing both of those. on the short term, we need more revenue, and we need something getting back to this market- credible $4 trillion deal, you need something the markets can where they can see -- taxes, it is there and it will show up so i believe that $4 to it is credible. in the long term we should be taking the opportunity to
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address our total system. the world has changed significantly from where we were 20 years ago. 20 years ago there were only 1 billion active participants in the global economy. it was really just the u.s., western europe, and japan. today there are four. -- today there 4 billion people participating in the economy. we have got the st. antiquated tax system today that we had 20 years ago. we should be taking the opportunity therelook this thing and say what does it take to be globally competitive today? yes, i was on the commission, and some might think i like that proposal a lot, which i did pick it does not have to be exactly like that, but there are some principles that are a part. the whole idea of during individual corporate cap gains, do it all at the same time make
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sense. the territorial system for companies makes sense, with clauses so that nothing scurry as beds. relook at all these deductions, and we should be looking at do we want all these disorders at a time when our economy needs more flexibility to respond to a very globally different place than we had 20 years ago. it is a chain to pass up this opportunity to actually fix and get the base gates off of a evolved tot is just fals chaos. i was heartened by listening to senator packwood, because they're too many people in washington in explaining that this is a two-year process. hearing that it can be handled quickly when you get some rational people in a room, i
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found quite encouraging. >> could i jump in? what is never discussed in enough detail is how much this is costing us as an economy by not acting. the paralysis is unbelievable. when they talk about uncertainty and the inability to make investment decisions, to say nothing of attracted new capital to the united states -- i have said the offices in 26 countries -- you are competing with an antiquated system. i come from the world that says you can have it all, tic anything you want, take all the ditures, s, expensive researc because that will all take away. i am on the camp of all that they've said, there is an urgency that speaks. is all due haste.
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but let's talk about that. let me paint a picture for you. you have the opportunity to bring the president and boehner to the irish times to solve this tax issue, to split the difference where they are now. can you tell me what might play on the republican side and the president's psych, fellow democrats in congress? >> it would be a three-pitcher event. i hear bob packwood about the history of putting his bill together 30 years ago. i am impressed by a kinder and gentler time it was, to have the kind of easy communication of lloyd bentsen about a little problem that he has to have resolved. it is a different era. it was revenue neutral was a great advantage to you in that effort, and even though you can quickly to get it, it was a
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two-year process. i would argue that the interest groups embedded in tax expenditures are even stronger today. it is not just about the guys who want to go sailing or play golf. they have tv ads running, gresser its operations out there. but there is one thing else. in 1986, there was no cellphone. they had to find a wired telephone and call, and by the time they had done that, it was already passed. >> this is very hard to do. as bill outlined earlier, you can see where the groups are lining up. the easiest thing they can bring about is gridlock and doing nothing. i am a firm believer if we go back to the committee system we can actually do more in having these kinds of general
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discussions, because as will marshall said, it will take a blend of policies, some rate changes, some base broadening, but let's see what the traffic will bear, but the political environment, the culture on the hill will accommodate. >> dave camp and sander levin cut a deal? >> begin the process and try to confer. if there is a new revenue source, carbon tax, some sort of consumption tax, it will emerge out of their common frustration that they cannot get where they need to go. what we need to do is do not micromanage, don't be prescriptive. give them a number, 8 ratio, of expenditure reductions to tax reform, revenue enhancements, if that task this fall to the committee and over the next six or nine months, task them to
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meet those numbers. i think the capability is there to do it. it may not be rostenkowski and packwood, but if there is a they will get the job done. >> i do not think it is credible to kick the can down the road that far at this point. i think the reaction in the real economy would be devastating. you have to imagine what you are suggesting, vic, which is a good suggestion in the context of doing something now and whether that something is betting at the rates snap back, as i would support, and taking some effort to restrain mandatory spending in order to offset the sequester -- that has to happen now or we are in the soup if we
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let this slide for six months. >> would you be open to the suggested that the rights revert back, but then open the door may be rates come back down? >> democrats have the easy side of the position, which is that everyone agrees that taxes should not go up on 98% of americans. that is the easy side of the position, but then they have to be open to what a tax reform discussion along the lines that vic suggests, give you the opportunity to do in the course of a congressional process that could produce lower rates. >> michael peterson, i want to get you involved. financial markets, you know these things, they are waiting for something up front as well as of the long term. you cannot just kick the can down the road, right? >> absolutely. what i have been struck in the debate is the time, energy, and attention that has been spent
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on these tax policies, and the neglect of the broader challenges we face. this is the fantasy of bill and donald that the entire world is focused on capping deductions and what the ramifications are and this is how they spend their lives, so they are in their element, but lee side of the broader goals here. as maya saying, the first question i wanted to answer, does this all the problem? we have a medium-term problem which is the 10-year window, we're going to borrow $10 to it unless we change our policies. then we have what we feel is a primary threat to the future, the long-term problem. before we get to the detail of what the percentage should be, we need to make sure that whenever we negotiate solves those problems. it is essential that brevity -- that revenue be part of the equation. it is difficult to do the
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spending cuts alone. you need to touch the budget by 30% over the long term, and that will not be supported by the people of all long haul. we cannot just worry about the details of the revenue without considering what we need to pair it with on the spending side to go back and saw those challenges. the last thing i will say is what you're talking about, and donald mentioned, growth is the best way to raise revenue, and my concern is we spend all this time coming up with a small deal that is not market confidence building, not credible, and we end up hurting growth either through a prthat process. it is essential that it solves these critical stellas, short, medium, and long term and give the markets the stability it needs. >> if you ask somebody if you can go to the irish times, which i assume is a public water
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this concern about taxes and revenues, as part economic. you do not want to hurt the economy or the recovery. it is driven by fear and no elected official likes to go back and talk to people about having raised their taxes. you can see that in things that though middle class is always accepted by both sides of the aisle, which has nothing to do with policy, just with a big group of constituents? , where you want to tell them they are going to be ok. all this conversation, and i am not a tax policy effort -- expert, is very abstract. these are people sitting around, talking about these policy issues. if you stop somebody in the isle of wight walmart and talk to them about taxes, there is
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nothing said here that is the least bit persuasive did them in the process. when i was mayor and raise property taxes twice as governor, raised taxes one, we had a conservative state, and the way i got it down was always to tie it very specifically to something that they can make a judgment about. as mayor -- i want to build schools in these locations on this schedule, i want to build a new arena or something like that. do not give me any new taxes and i will keep running the business, but these are the things i want to do. you can pass it that way. you can see it in the government with medicare and social security. no one is arguing we have to cut medicare and social security taxes because they see them tied to something very specific. it goes into a trust fund used for their benefit. in the process of this, if you
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could print this discussion much more fully home -- it is more than just fixing to that, and that is a specific use of it, bringing it home to some actual uses of this fund, how are you going to make the social security trust funds solvent over a long period, making it worked, you would find resistance to this stuff a great deal less. >> do you think the president has made that connection with the outreach he has done since the election or during the election? >> snowe, it is still -- no, it is still in a class warfare mode on both sides. bringing it home, thinking about what you are going to tell that person wherever you see them
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about this -- you can take the sting out of this thing by -- there are other people here who have political things that may have raised or not have raised taxes, but to me the secret was always give them something for what it is you are asking for and make any specific transaction, not just a monster in national or washington wants some more of your money. >> one area that should work, and i agree, governor, that makes great sense, and one area which should work is in road improvements and highway improvements. simpson-bowles just said raising the tax gasoline 13%. you have universal opposition to raising the gas tax, which makes no sense because most people
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should want to have the gas tax increase if they know it goes to create a better road. if they understood that the highway fund is running a deficit, and having to borrow from china to fix the reds, it is something they would be concerned about. >> i accept the point that any tax increase has become problematical, but the gas tax i would add in along with medicare and social security, no one is fighting to decrease the gas tax. there's no protest outside of gas stations, because it is accepted at that kind of a level, whereas there's plenty of interest in cutting all kinds of other taxes. as an elected official. i think these things which are tied specifically to benefits that people can see and can grab onto, are much easier to do, and that there is some opportunity in this debate to do that. >> can i make a quick point,
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based on research, which is are people willing to pay higher taxes to reduce the deficit? it turns out that overall people are with one areif, if they feel certain it will go to reduce the deficit. there is a little trust that revenues that go to washington will be used there instead of new spending or broken spending programs. the lessons we look from that/ you need to find ways to dedicate the revenue projections and have enforcement mechanisms to make sure that any plan, all this proposal stay on track and are used for what they are intended to do, because there's not much trust if what you are linking it to is reducing the deficit. >> you can continue to what's this event online at c-span.org. we are leaving now as the house is gambling in for what will
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likely be a short but to set a date. one bill deals with changing the federal energy efficiency loss. -- laws. the speaker: the house will be
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in order. the prayer will be offered today by our guest chaplain, reverend glen bohanan, college acres baptist church, womenington, north carolina. the chaplain: our father in heaven, who desires that all people believe the fresh air of freedom, enable us to walk worthy of all rights handed down to us by patriots past and present. so lead us that we will not take for granted the blessings of our constitution, our laws and all institutions that help make these united states an instrument of peace and purpose. strengthen our resolve, not to confuse liberty with license, restraint with weakness and half error with fuel truth -- full truth. empower and motivate us to cull at thevate a spirit of goodness and a high sense of honor.
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deepen our desire to practice virtues of conduct that help make our nation strong and deserving to endure. our eternal god, open our eyes today to see that our nation's greatest threat is not all external but the inner thought that we can afford to live without dependence upon you. this i pray in the name of our lord, gee suftcrichte -- jesus christ, amen. the speaker: the chair has commed the journal of the last day's proceedings. the gentleman will suspend. the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his aprolve thereof. the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from molte rise? mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on the speaker's
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journal. the speaker: the question is on demanding a vote for the speaker's journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the yeas have it. walswals i request the yeas and nays. the speaker: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz. mr. walz: please stand and honor our nation with the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: this is the day for the call of the private calendar , without objection, the private
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calendar will be called after one-minute speeches today. without objection, the gentleman from texas, mr. culberson, is recognized for one minute. mr. culberson: thank you, mr. speaker. it's a privilege to have with us today dr. glendaily ohanan who understands clearly the importance of this great institution, that it's our privilege to represent. i think the doctor's prayer was very appropriate to strengthen these great institutions that were created for the sole purpose of protecting our liberty. the doctor is married to mary joe ann summers and was saved on february 2 of 1959 and game an ordained pastor on november 20 of 1960. dr. b, is -- bo is a graduate of southeast missouri university and received his master of divinity in 1972 and his doctorate of ministry in 1985. glen and his wife have three
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children, lisa, john and glen jr. john and his wife jodi have three children, glen and joe's grandchildren. dr. bow handen has served churchers in missouri, virginia and north carolina. he retired in 1996 after serving at central baptist church for 10 1/2 years. he received his intentional interim training from 1996 to 1997 and has since served as an intentional interim pastor and an interim pastor in search churches in virginia and north carolina. dr. bohanan currently serves in wilmington, north carolina. he completed an interim where my family atends when we're in the d.c. area and we're honored to have our good friend, dr. glen bohanan here as the pastor of the house for the day. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from nevada seek
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recognition? >> address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain 15 more requests for one-minute speeches. >> mr. speaker, i come to the floor today to recognize dr. harry rosenburg, founding president of roseman university of health and sciences. in 1999 dr. rosenburg rented a small office space in henderson, nevada, believing he could establish a pharmacy school that would produce highly-skilled graduates ready to be recruited for work across the country. his innovative approach to education led him to develop a block format curriculum that emphasizes a student-centered active learning environment, allowing students to participate in experiencal education from the very beginning of their studies and complete their doctor al degree in just three years instead of the traditional four. making roseman one of the most affordable pharmacy schools in the nation. during his tenure, dr. rosenburg helped transform roseman of a local school of 38 students to a regional institution with over 1,000 and offering an array of
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quality programs in nursing, dentistry and business administration. mr. heck: as he prepared for retirement, i commend dr. rosenburg for his vision, innovation and commitment to offering students an affordable, state-of-the-art education that has and will benefit the state of nevada and the nation. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nevada yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman seek unanimous consent? the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for one minute. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. today let's show the american people the politics of the possible. let's focus on what we agree on, not what we disagree on. let's find common ground. we can accomplish this by extending the middle class tax cuts immediately. let's have the people's house break this ridiculous stalemate. let families across the nation go into the holiday season with certainty. everyone here agrees taxes should not go up on middle class families. democrats and republicans can come together to make that
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happen. by extending the tax cuts, every american will get a tax break on the first $250,000 of income. let me repeat that. 100% of americans will receive a tax break on $250,000 of income. it also ex tends the child tax credit, makes it easier for small businesses to expand, makes it affordable to go to college and fixes the alternative minimum tax. if we fail to act in the next 10 days, middle class families could see their income taxes go up by $2,000. no one wants it, the economy doesn't need it. the senate's already passed a bill, the president said he would sign it today. it can be done now. please stand up, find the discard petition, make a difference for the american public. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute.
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>> mr. speaker, i'd like to introduce the american people to kevin kline. kevin is a friend. and a popular d.j. back home on the 93-q morning zoo. but kev season more than a voice on the radio -- kevin is more than a voice on the radio. he's the man of the year according to a magazine. mr. olson: because of the joe job foundation, an organization he and his wife created to help children fighting life-threatening cancer. kevin's inspiration was a remarkable young lady, chellsy campbell. chellsy lost her battle with cancer on -- on december 9, 2006. she was 16 years old. kevin was a paulbearer at her funeral. kevin is always looking for an
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outlet to tell chelsea's story and keep her memory alive. if kevin was here, i'd thank him for sharing chelsea's story with me so i can enshrine her life forever in the congressional record of the united states of america. because of kevin, i look forward to meeting chelsea in heaven. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from michigan is recognized for one minute. mr. levin: the discharge petition frames the issue immediately before us. where republicans take america over the cliff and the middle class tax cuts with them. in order to protect tax breaks for the very wealthy. and will they take the economy with them over the cliff? the fiscal cliff confronting us
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threatens an economic mess, half of which could be resolved in one fell swoop by passing the middle class tax cuts. the senate has already acted, the president is waiting to sign it. republicans should join with democrats and give 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses the certainty that they won't face a tax increase on january 1. colleagues, republicans as well as democrats, sign now, the signal that america needs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, yesterday speaker boehner sent a letter to the president in response to his unreasonable proposal to how congress can
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avert the fiscal cliff. shortly after the election, the house republican leadership presented the president with a balanced framework of coupling spending come cutlers and reforms. it also states, quote, regrettably the proposal outlined on behalf of your administration contains very little in the way of common ground. the proposal calls for a $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue, twice the amount you supported during the campaign. end of quote. house republicans understand the necessity of finding a reasonable solution. we have made it very clear, we're willing to work with the senate leadership to find middle ground legislation. it is my hope the president will begin these -- taking these negotiations seriously and work with the house republicans to find a balanced approach to this challenge. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina yields back.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? mr. kucinich: mr. speaker, i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from ohio is recognized for within minute. mr. kucinich: before congress adjourns, this house will vote on my resolution of inquiry about the u.s. use of drones. the vote will not be about the thousands of deaths of innocent civilians caused by drones, though that's important. it won't be about whether the drole drones are creating more terrorism. it won't be a vote to stop the killing of american citizens without due process guaranteed by the constitution. it won't be about whether ongoing use of drones constitutes violations of the constitution, and violations of international law. the vote will, however, be about something fundamental. we will determine whether or not congress has the power to require the administration to release their still-secret legal justification to use drones. in matters of the constitution, in matters of war, trust us is neither sufficient legally, constitutionally nor is it morally acceptable. i urge members of the house to reclaim congress' constitutional
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imperative by supporting h.res. 819, the resolution of inquiry demanding the white house produce its legal justification for drone strikes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? does the gentleman seek -- does the gentlelady seek unanimous consent? without objection, the gentlelady from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: there should be one powerful driving force for all of us and that is to serve the american people. the least we can do before december 31, 2012, is to provide the middle class of america, the working men and women of america, those who every day get up 6:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. and work night shifts, a tax break. i'm proud to commit to giving americans making income below $250,000 a tax break. and i stand here today proudly having signed the petition. let me say what else we can do
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very quickly, as a co-chair of the congressional children's caucus, we've passed a bipartisan bill on intervention and prevention of bullying. everywhere you go you're hearing about this dastardly conditions of our children going to school across america. let's pass that legislation before we leave here and go into 2013 with america recognizing that the congress understands that the safety and security of our children in the schools of america are vital. that's the least we can do. protect the children of america, pass the anti-bullying and intervention act of 2012 now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady seek unanimous consent? without objection, the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. . ms. hahn: thank you, mr. speaker. we face looming problems, not the least of which is a crushing
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middle class tax hikes f we fail to act middle class americans could see their tax bill rise by more than $3,000. while there will be much to disagree on in the coming negotiations, no one wants this to happen. attacks hike of this size on the middle class would be a terrible burden on families who are just beginning to recover from this great recession. with congressional approval at an all-time low, we cannot pass up this opportunity to prove to the american people that we can work together. president obama's legislation to extend the middle class tax cut has already been passed by the senate and now depends on us. we should embrace this opportunity to vote on something we can agree on and bring this legislation to the floor. i have already signed this petition. i urge all my colleagues to come down to the house floor right now even sign this discharge petition, bring this to the floor, let's give the american people a real holiday present. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek
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recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: last month the american people went to the polls and delivered congress a resounding message that republicans and democrats should be working together to solve their nation's problems. although our constituents have made it clear that the time for partisan games is over, and despite overwhelming support for the idea, the house republican leaders are refusing to hold a vote on extending tax cuts for middle class families. instead, they plan to keep holding them hostage to tax breaks for the wealthiest americans. so today we have filed a discharge petition to force the vote on the middle class tax cut act so that 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses don't have to worry about their taxes going up at the end of this year. and it will ensure that americans, 100% americans will see a tax cut for the first $ 50,000 of family income. the senate has already passed the equivalent bill, but today the house is still standing in the way of tax relief for middle
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class families. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the right thing for working families, force the house republican leadership to hold a vote on the middle class tax cut bill by signing this discharge petition and forcing the bill to the floor so we can do right by the american people. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. yarmuth: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. does the gentleman seek unanimous consent? mr. yarmuth: i did. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for one minute. mr. yarmuth: when it comes to the fiscal cliff, republicans and democrats have one major thing in common, we both believe tax rates shouldn't go up for 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses. the difference is the democrats won't use them as bargaining chips. we have filed a discharge petition to bring to the floor legislation that preserves tax cuts for 98% of americans and
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97% of small businesses. it has already passed the senate. the president has said he will sign it immediately. less than a month away the clock is ticking, and if house republican leadership is wondering when in our pressing schedule we might fully consider 24 legislation, they might rethink their astonishing decision to cancel house business on thursday, one of the few days congress has left in the current session. mr. speaker, we know what we must do and it might come as a surprise we agree on a solution. all that's left is to vote. i urge my colleagues to sign the discharge petition and vote immediately to keep middle class tax rates from going up. i yield back. soy much -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from connecticut is recognized for one minute. mr. courtney: we have the power as members to actually pay this country back from a fiscal cliff
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which endangers an economic recovery and threatens middle class families across the country. the good news is there right now. consumer confidence is up, car sales are up, even the housing market is making a he recovery. if we do not, however, act, to sign this discharge petition and protect middle class families, we will go backwards as a nation. it will also solve 3/4 of the sequestration challenge that the budget control act is still sitting out there for january 2. if we sign this discharge petition, get this bill passed, 3/4 of the problems will be solved and we'll protect medicare, we'll protect our military, we'll protect education. and it will reduce the size of the challenge to avoid sequestration. all members, republicans and democrats, should come together, sign this discharge petition, and help the american people get this economy back on its feet. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from connecticut yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarksment the speaker pro tempore: without
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objection, the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. crowley: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the american people have spoken. in this last election. they said to all of us, start to work together. have an agenda that serves the people of our country. time is fleeting. never before has that expression been more important in my 14 years here in the house of representatives. we have very few working days and even less days this week because of the house schedule put before us by the leadership of the house to actually work on the people's business. and pass a middle class tax cut that will affect 98% of working americans. 98% of working americans will get a tax cut by passing the senate bill that they passed already that is now at the desk here in the house of representatives in the form of a discharge petition. we are taking this act because we believe that time is running out. if we fail to pass this bill or
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something like it, the middle class in this country will see on average a $2,000 increase in their taxes. i don't know about anyone here in this chamber, but i know my constituency doesn't want to pay a $2,000 tax. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. connolly: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from virginia is recognized for one minute. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. for any negotiation to succeed, both parties involved need to first identify things which they can agree. fortunately, we already have agreed. middle class tax cuts need to be protected. 60% of americans agree that extending the middle class tax cuts and letting those of the wealthiest expire is a good compromise and the right thing to do. some of our republican colleagues agree saying we ought to give 98% of all americans an early christmas present by extending the middle class tax
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cuts. sadly, other republicans do not share that holiday spirit. in their zeal to protect the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2%, they are willing to present themselves as the grinch that stole christmas. let's not let another opportunity pass. let's show that we were listening on election day to our constituents who want us to work together to protect the middle class and the economy and get something done for america. sign the discharge petition. i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the minority leader is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, as we all know in the course of the election the president made it very clear that he was courting the extension of the middle class tax cut and that everyone, 100% of the american people, would
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benefit from it. 100% of taxpayers, small businesses, wage earners, and the rest. the republicans are saying that rather than passing that they want to hold it hostage to giving an additional tax cut to people making over $250,000 a year. that's not negotiating. that's hostage taking. so today on the floor of the house the democrats have proposed a discharge petition which if it receives 218 signatures, that's only a couple dozen republicans joining the democrats, would automatically come to the floor and i predict would receive the overwhelming support of the house of representatives. the miles per hour people want us to work together. we are in -- the american people want us to work together. we are in agreement on this
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subject. why? why my republicans -- republican colleagues, can we not agree on something where we have agreement, where we have fairness, that would work to create jobs, to reduce the deficit, and again have fairness. this is the heart of the 3459er -- matter that is holding us here. as the public watches what is this about? this is about the $250,000 line that the president said in the campaign that he would honor and that that legislation today brings to bear. i urge my colleagues out of 435 members of the house, we only need a couple dozen republicans to sign the discharge petition. each one of them holds the key to a $2,000 tax cut for the middle class. either sign the petition, urge the speaker to bring the bill to
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the floor, or explain to your constituents why you do not want them to have this $2,000 tax break if they are -- for 100% of the american people. please sign the discharge petition. let's get this done this week. we could bring this bill up under unanimous consent. the message would be clear to the american people. we heard you in the campaign. be fair. do something that works. work together. this gives us that opportunity. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to discuss the home state georgia program. home state provides temporary assistance to homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed due to no fault of their own. and i'm hosting my second home
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state georgia foreclosure prevention event of 2012 this saturday, december 8, at the salem bible church fellship hall from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. my presented, jasper williams, is the pastor. my last home safe event helped hundreds of homeowners temporarily lower their mortgage payments and i expect to help hundreds more after this weekend's event. the event is free and i hope georgians who need help will attend. for more information contact me at hankjohnson.house.gov. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. the message from the american people is loud and clear. extend the middle class tax cuts now. republicans are holding hostage
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tax cuts for 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses to give more tax breaks to the wealthiest americans. and once again republicans playing politics with something that will help americans get back as we work to repair the damage that eight years of republican leadership created. democrats have a commonsense solution and we can't wait around any longer to let real proposals languish until the house g.o.p. gets it back together. spearheaded by congressman tim walz, democrats filed a discharge petition to automatically bring to the house floor the senate-passed middle class tax cuts which the president has said he will sign immediately. we have no time to waste, mr. speaker. pass the extension of the middle class tax cuts now as we find a bold balance and fair agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that s 2 5, calendar
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number 7 be passed over without prejudice. the speaker pro tempore: this is the day for the call of the private calendar. the clerk will call the first bill. the clerk: private carled number one, h.r. 1857, a bill for relief of bartos kumar. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? the chair hears none. without objection, the bill sen grossed, red a third time, passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the chair will call the second bill. the clerk: number 2, h.r. 824, a bill for the relief of daniel wacheria. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? the chair hears none. without objection, the bill is engrossed, read a third time, passed, and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the clerk will read the third bill. the clerk: number 3, h.r. 823, a bill for the relief of maria carmen ramirez, and jay rojas. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection?
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the chair hears none. without objection, the bill is engrossed, read a third time, passed, and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the clerk will call the fourth bill on the calendar. the clerk: numbered 4, h.r. 794, a bill 230r the relief of alan kelly. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? the chair hears none. without objection, the bill is engrossed, read a third time, passed, and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the clerk will called the fifth bill on the calendar. the clerk: number 5, h.r. 357, a bill for the relief of korean dchernovic the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the bill is engrossed, read a third time, passed, and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the clerk will call the sixth bill on the calendar. the clerk: number 6, h.r. 3016, a bill for the relief of esther coringe. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? the chair hears none. without objection, the bill is engrossed, read a third time, passed, and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. . the clerk will call the seventh
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bill on the calendar. the clerk: number 7, senate 285, an act for the relief of chekowee. mr. smith: i ask unanimous consent that s. 285, calendar number 7, be passed over without prejudice. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? the chair hears none. without objection, so ordered. this includes the -- concludes the call of the private calendar. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20rk the chair will postpone -- 20, the chair about postpone further proceedings today on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. any recorded vote on the postponed question will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 6582, the american energy manufacturing technical
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corrections act as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 6582, a bill to allow for innovations and alternative technologies that meet or exceed desired energy efficiency goals and to make technical corrections to existing federal energy efficiency laws, to allow american manufacturers to remain competitive. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from kentucky, mr. which the field, and the gentleman from california, mr. waxman, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material in the record and i would like to include several letters including the energy and commerce committee's exchange of letters with the science, space and technology committee and the transportation and infrastructure committee. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. whitfield: i rise today in support of h.r. 6582, the american energy manufacturing technical corrections act. and i want to thank mr. waxman and his staff for working with us on this legislation, part of it has been passed in the senate and we worked very closely with the senate staff and members as well. this is a small but critical piece of energy legislation that i encourage my colleagues to support. section 2 deals with an outdated standard for walk-in coolers that is actually resulting in the layoff and loss of jobs in the state of alabama. section 3 deals with a fix to water heater requirements that will reduce regulatory burdens on manufacturers by transitioning to a single definition for all covered water
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heaters. section 4 fixes a standard that cannot be met from the 2007 energy bill for service over-the-counter refrigerators. section 5 deals with small duct, high-velocity systems. sections 6 and 7 seek toims prove federal coordination to help develop and deploy industrial energy efficiency technologies, section 8 and 9 aim to improve federal energy efficiency which will ultimately save taxpayers money. section 10 makes additional routine technical corrections to the 2007 energy bill. this bill will reduce regulatory burdens and provide greater certainty for manufacturers, allowing them to stay in business, avoid layoffs and will also ensure the continued benefits of energy savings and
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consumer savings because of increased energy efficiency. h.r. 6582 carries the support of the air conditioning, heating and refrigerate -- ration institute. the industrial -- rerefrigeration institute as well as the american council for an energy efficiency economy, the alliance to save energy and the national association of manufacturers. this bill shows that we can work together in congress in a bipartisan manner to tackle important energy issues. to that end i once again want to thank my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, mr. waxman and his staff, for working with us to help develop this legislation that we all can support. i might add that many of us on this side of the aisle feel as though the 2007 energy bill has many provisions that we believe to be challenging for stimulating private growth and creating jobs. i hope my colleagues on the
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other side of the aisle will continue to work with us on these matters in the future. as the 112th congress comes to a close, the passage of this modest but important energy efficiency bill gives me hope that we can work together in the coming years to tackle the many energy challenges facing america. i encourage my colleagues to support passage of h.r. 6582 and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. waxman: the united states and the world are facing an enormous and growing threat. the pollution remember putting into the atmosphere -- we are putting into the atmosphere is changing the climate around us. in this last year alone, new york city has been flooded by a superstorm. the midwest roasted in
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record-setting drought and wildfires have scorched the west. these are not aberrations. they are the early warning signs of what the future will look like. today on one of the very last days of this congress, we're taking our first step to recognize this looming threat. it's not a big step. in fact, it's a tiny one. but it gives hope that we can work together and it is a signal that at least we are headed in the right direction. energy efficiency is an essential part of any serious effort to address climate change . it is the low-hanging fruit that reduces pollution while saving americans money and creating jobs. whether it's a building code or an appliance standard or a home retrofit, we should be doing far more in this consider area. in fact, a recent international
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energy agency analysis found that without new policies, 2/3 of the cost-effective energy efficiency gains that could be made will remain unrealized through 2035. this bill includes a number of noncontroversial technical fixes to appliance energy efficiency standards for water heaters, walk-in freezers, deli -- deli counter style refrigerators and certain types of air conditioners. the bill also includes improvements to the process by which the department of energy updates its energy efficiency standards. in addition there are a few sensible provisions to promote industrial energy efficiency and the efficiency of federal government buildings. this bill will not produce large energy savings but it's a worth while package of consensus improvements. the package is based on
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provisions that recently passed the senate by unanimous consent. both industry and energy efficiency advocates support the bill. this is a bill that has a very good chance of becoming law this month. but we need to do much, much more. the beginning of a new congress provides us an opportunity to work together on a bipartisan basis tone act commonsense energy -- to enact commonsense energy efficiency legislation. such legislation will save consumers money, boost domestic manufacturing, while cutting pollution, including the carbon pollution that is driving dangerous climate change. i look forward to starting those discussions with chairman upton and our energy and commerce committee colleagues. there are many good ideas for policies that would reduce waste and save energy and we should work together to explore those ideas and enact the ones we can
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agree on. today's bill is a first step. i encourage my colleagues to support it and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield four minutes to the gentleman from alabama, mr. aderholt, who wrote a portion of this bill, and whose state is at the risk of losing jobs because of some technicalities and i'd like to recognize him for four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for four minutes. mr. aderholt: i thank you, mr. speaker, and i want to thank the gentleman from kentucky for his time and just take a moment to say how much we appreciate working with him and his staff on this legislation as we've moved forward. as has been mentioned here, the purpose of this legislation in many respects is to make critical technical changes to the 2007 energy independence and security act, known as eisa. which will both preserve jobs
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and create new jobs and several related industries. i want to speak in particular to section 312 of eisa, as it regulates the efficiency standards of walk-in coolers and freezers. the section mandates that cooler and freezer doors must meet a certain value as a measurement of their ability to retain temperature and use less energy. the problem here is that the value is a measurement based primarily on one insulating product in particular and that's foam. and on how thick that foam actually is. however, requiring a product to meet a value prohibits technologies that are just as efficient, even though they utilize alternative materials or technologies. in this case, technology is even more efficient. although regulatory statutes many times provide the department of energy with a
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waver authority, a waver was not -- waiver authority, a waiver was not a part of this particular statute. this legislation provides the department of energy with the authority to waive the requirement if they determine a product meets or exceeds the desired energy efficiency goals. bureaucracy red tape and federaling -- bureaucratic red tape and federal regulations can sometimes keep innovators and small businesses from creating jobs. therefore, the manufacturing technical corrections act is a commonsense solution which maintains standards and yet corrects a problem which otherwise topples growth and causes a company to lose jobs. due to an increase in regulation over the past few years, too many small businesses have had to lay off employees, reduce production and even shut their doors. this is precisely what happened to an innovative manufacturing company in the district i represent back in alabama. the federal government's embrace
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of outdaylighted technology prohibits -- outdated technology prohibits new and innovative solutions to improve energy efficiency. without sacrificing the efficiency standards which drove the original bill, my bill here, that we're discussing this afternoon, merely makes a commonsense update. just to be clear, this legislation, h.r. 6582, does not create new standards. but it does make existing standards better for both businesses and better for consumers. i can personally attest that this technical corrections bill will directly affect over 100 jobs in the state of alabama and potentially many others could be created with this new and innovative technology. the other sections of this bill affect a similar and in some cases, i'm told an even greater amount of jobs in other places in the country. simply put, this commonsense legislation provides technical
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corrections which remove barriers to technologies in which untie the hands of companies that are manufactured here in the united states of america. this means jobs, and not only by moving legislation we'll be able to create jobs, but we will also be able to make sure that we have continued economic growth in this country. therefore i suggest and urge my colleagues that they would support this legislation that's on the floor today and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i'm pleased at this time to yield three minutes to the gentleman from missouri, mr. carnahan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri is recognized for three minutes. carve -- mr. carnahan: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today on behalf of the american energy manufacturing act. this is truly a commonsense
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bipartisan bill. i've been proud to work on it with my friend and neighbor, representative john shimkus of illinois. also with congresswoman judy biggert, who has been my co-chair of the high performance building caucus. i want to thank congressman whitfield and congressman waxman for their leadership on this matter here on the floor today, and finally the gentleman from alabama, mr. aderholt, for his leadership in moving this bill forward today. . and for including legislation that i sponsored in 2010, the small duct high velocity energy efficient standards for america act. these are a special type of heating, vent lace and air conditioning systems -- ventilation and air conditioning systems that are more energy efficient than traditional unit, especially for older and historic homes and buildings with limited space for new duct work. . the department of energy lumped
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these new systems for rule making with regular systems in 2002. the department eventually granted a waiver, basically saying these new small duct systems could be sold as efficient products. the legislation before us today will codify that waiver into law so that american manufacturers and consumers can truly benefit from the advantages of these type of products. unico is a company, one of several manufacturers of these systems, is a small business of about 80 employees in my hometown of st. louis, missouri. i have toured the plant. i have met with their employees. i have seen the pride in their work, the craftsmanship that they display and those products go not just around the u.s. but around the world. unico is an american success story, it's a small business created in american, manufacturing products in america, creating good-paying,
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manufacturing and construction jobs, exactly what this congress and this country should be all about. when the actor brad pitt, also a missouri native, and the make it right findation unveiled plans to build over 100 superenergy efficient homes in new orleans, they looked around the world to find low-cost energy efficient systems, they chose unico creating more jobs in my hometown. we are proud of that. it isn't just about jobs, it's about becoming more energy efficient as a nation. heating and cooling account for 56% of energy use in the typical house. making it the largest energy expense for most families. and air conditioners alone use roughly 5% of all electricity nationwide at a cost of over $11 billion to homeowners, releasing nearly 100 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. so, mr. speaker, again i urge my
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colleagues to pass this -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. carnahan: domestic manufacturing of high energy heating and cooling systems, like the ones produced by unico, will reduce energy up to 50%, save consumers billions of dollars a year, and create jobs. i urge a yes vote on this bill. and thank my colleagues for their work today. again, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: i yield four minutes to the distinguished gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus, chairman of the energy and environment scommeet. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for four minutes. mr. shimkus: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker. i also come down in support of h.r. 6582, i want to address a
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small duct high velocity positions in this bill. first let me talk about my friend and colleague, russ carnahan. the carnahan, my neighboring state of missouri, is well-known and well respected, russ added to that legacy and i thank him for his service and thank him for his friendship. mr. speaker, small duct high velocity systems are a special type of heating, ventle ating, and air conditioning used especially for older homes and buildings that don't have room for duct work. in terms of delivered efficiency, these are more energy efficient than traditional hvac units, a fact widely recognized, including the department of energy. unfortunately for more than 10 years ago these small duct units were incorrectly lumped into a rule making for regular hvac units. subsequent administration vs. attempted to correct this error in the past through unrelated rule making, regarding
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efficiency standards for different types of units, however the rule making for these unrelated units why challenged and overturned because small duct high velocity units why included, the court's findings apply to them as well. the result forbids rule making that ratchet down standards already in place, even if those in place were promulgated by mistake as in the case of these units. despite this ruling, d.o.e. has recognized small duct high velocity systems as unique and should have their own set of efficiency standards. as a result d.o.e. has given these systems waivers to be sold as efficient products. mr. speaker, the provisions of h.r. 6582 related to small duct high systems are taken from h.r. 1499, that russ and i have been working on. the language was codified, these waivers in place, and set up a regulatory process so sellers of these systems can have relief from this regulatory burden. furthermore, consumers will have
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peace of mind that these products are truly energy efficient while meeting their needs and not just operating under a waiver. and i urge my colleagues to support the entire bill, 658 , and to my friend, mr. waxman, who is very passionate on climate, he also knows that there are those of us who are just as passionate about jobs and the economy and the fossil fuel economy and i hope we can work together in the next congress. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: i'm pleased at this time to yield to the gentleman from vermont, who is going to be joining again the energy and commerce committee to my great delight, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from vermont is recognized for three minutes. mr. welch: i thank the gentleman from california. i look forward to returning to the committee and working with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle as well. i'm very pleased to be here supporting this legislation.
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energy efficiency makes sense. we have brutal arguments here about climate change, about what's the right fuel source. they are dividing us. but the fact is whether you believe in climate change or not, even under the bill that was passed a session ago, we could have met 1/3 of our climate reduction carbon emissions goals through efficiency. there is an enormous potential in efficiency to make this economy better, to create local jobs, to save people money. this legislation starts down that road. it's very good. i see some of my colleagues over there, even my friend from georgia, and i think we accidentally voted the same on one or two pieces of legislation this year. and i'm not quite sure who made the mistake, but our eyes are wide open on this one with efficiency. we know that this is good for georgia, it's good for vermont. it does not matter what your fuel source is.
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you can be a nuclear person or a clean energy person, using less is good for the pocketbook, it's good for the economy. i'd like to expand on this when we come back next year, find that area where we are in agreement on efficiency and energy, and intensify it. when i served on the committee, we did pass home star, i partnered this session with mr. mckinley of west virginia on a version of that where we would give some incentive to homeowners to retrofit their homes. and the evidence is that if we did this in an aggressive way, 95% of the materials that are used in retrofitting a home are manufactured in america. so we put those manufacturing jobs back on line. number two, the folks who do the work are the trade folks who are
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really still reeling from the housing slump. so they've got the skills and they need the work. we put them back to work. and then your bill at home as a homeowner, whatever your heat source, goes down. this is sensible. we can do it. it's going to take some decisions on spending and i hope we can get past this notion that every dollar spent is a bad dollar spent. there are times when it makes sense to invest because you get a good return on it. and that's from somebody who does believe that we have to bring our budget in balance. so i say to the sponsors of this legislation, our leaders on the committee, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, this is a tremendous down payment on efficiency that will be good for this congress to work together on and good for this country to get it done. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from vermont yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: mr. speaker, i'd like to say we are all looking forward to working with the
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gentleman from vermont if he comes back to the energy and commerce committee. at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from georgia who wrote a portion of this bill, the honorable mr. mooreland. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. westmoreland: i want to thank the gentleman from kentucky for yielding me the time and i want to thank the gentleman from alabama, mr. aderholt, for all the hard work he and his staff and the staff of energy and commerce have put into this. i also want to thank the gentleman from california and his staff for working with us to get this small part in this bill. mr. speaker, we are asked a lot of times what part of this job we enjoy the most. whether you are talking to a school group or a group from one of the civic clubs, sometimes it's hard to come up with an answer. but in this case this would be one of those cases where we have come together, both sides of the aisle, and actually working
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together, and to my friend from vermont, i will tell you that hopefully those occasions where we both together will not be as unusual as they have been. but i look forward to voting with him on this issue because this is almost a jobs bill. we heard the gentleman from alabama and the gentleman from missouri and others talk about there are a number of jobs this is going to save. this is taken into consideration , our precious energy, and making sure we get the best efficiency out of it, and at the same time maintaining jobs. my part of this legislation is section 342-c which deals with the display cases. in this case the state of georgia and city of columbus has potential of saving 1,180 jobs. at this point with 13 million unemployed in this country and many more underemployed, it's very important for us to come
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together. i think this is a great example of we can come together to make sure that we are good stewards of our energy, to make sure that our products are the best in the world, the most energy efficient, but yet have commonsense regulations that allow us to continue to push these and make these products here in this country. so, again, i want to thank everybody for their support and hard work on this. and etches to those 1 -- especially to those -- 1,180 people in georgia that will be able to maintain employment. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, we continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: at this time, mr. speaker, i'd like to yield to the gentlelady from tennessee who is a member of the energy and commerce committee, mrs.
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blackburn, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized for three minutes. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. and i do rise in strong support of h.r. 6582 today. i am so pleased to stand and to thank mr. whitfield and mr. aderholt for the work they have done on this. also i want to thank mr. waxman for his efforts in this bill. i also want to commend my colleague, mr. cooper, fromtown tfpblet he and i had authored the piece of legislation h.r. 482, the water heater rating improvement act of 2011, and it is now section 3 of the underlying bill. essentially what this section 3 would do is to fix a regulatory problem related to the test methodology that the d.o.e. uses to calculate the efficiency levels of water heaters, which even the d.o.e. has acknowledged
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that the way they are doing this is broken and it does need to be fixed. this legislation will also level the playing field for our domestic water heater manufacturers who are currently at a competitive disadvantage with the foreign manufacturers. and of course we all know our focus is on jobs and the economy and getting our domestic manufacturing back to the place where it should be for global competition. essential the problem is this, under the current standards the small and large water heaters are divided into two categories. under two separate federal statutes. these statutes are based on an arbitrary gallon capacity and energy input rating. the small water heaters are covered by the national appliance energy conservation act and are rated using an energy factor or an e.f.ti